Herbert Mines Associates Fills Board Position for Vera Bradley

January 25, 2024 – New York-based retail and consumer focused executive search firm Herbert Mines Associates has assisted in selection of Bradley Weston, seasoned retail executive and former CEO of Party City Holdings, Inc., who has been nominated to join its board of directors of NASDAQ-traded Vera Bradley Inc. “We are so pleased to welcome Brad Weston as the newest member of the Vera Bradley, Inc. board of directors,” said Jackie Ardrey, CEO. “As we continue to make progress on project restoration, our strategic plan to drive long-term profitable growth and deliver value to our shareholders, Brad’s wealth of omnichannel retail experience, strong merchandising background, and visionary leadership will be invaluable assets. Weston is a battle-tested executive with a diverse background, having successfully operated in mature, start-up, turnaround/transformation, and high-growth situations over his 35-year retail career.”

Most recently, Mr. Weston served as CEO of Party City Holdings, Inc., a role he assumed at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic following a short period leading the company’s retail division. Previously, he spent seven years with Petco Animal Supplies, Inc. in roles of increasing responsibility from chief merchandising officer to president and CEO. He also led the merchant organization at Dick’s Sporting Goods from 2008 to 2011 as chief merchandising officer.

Mr. Weston’s merchandising expertise is grounded in the fundamentals he learned early in his career. Over 18 years, he rose through the ranks at May Department Stores from executive trainee to senior vice president, general merchandising manager, Ready-to-Wear. In addition, Mr. Weston is currently a member of the board of directors for Boot Barn, Inc. He has previously served in director roles for Party City Holdings, Inc., Petco; the National Retail Federation, and The Sports Authority.

In 2022, Herbert Mines helped to recruit Ms. Ardrey as the CEO of Vera Bradley. Ms. Ardrey is an accomplished, results-oriented leader with over 25 years of experience in multi-channel retail enterprises. Before joining the company, she has been president at home furnishings and seasonal décor catalog retailer Grandin Road, part of the Qurate Retail Group. “I have long admired Vera Bradley Inc. and believe both the Vera Bradley and Pura Vida brands have untapped potential in the marketplace,” said Ms. Ardrey.

Related: Herbert Mines Recruits President and COO for Sprouts

Based in Fort Wayne, IN, Vera Bradley is a designer of women’s handbags, luggage and other travel items, fashion and home accessories, and unique gifts.  Founded in 1982 by friends Barbara Bradley Baekgaard and Patricia R. Miller, the brand is known for its innovative designs, iconic patterns. Vera Bradley operates two unique lifestyle brands – Vera Bradley and Pura Vida, which are complementary businesses, both with devoted, emotionally-connected, and multi-generational female customer bases.

Retail and Consumer Focused

Established in 1978, Herbert Mines is a specialist search firm focusing on the retail, fashion and apparel, beauty, consumer products and services, hospitality, leisure, restaurant, and digital/technology industries. The firm is noted for its C-suite recruiting work. Herbert Mines has had upwards of 3,600 searches during the tenure of Hal Reiter, who joined the firm in 1993 as president, and was appointed chairman and chief executive officer in 1998.

Brenda Malloy is the firm’s president. She brings over 40 years of experience to Herbert Mines Associates. During her career, she has authored numerous articles on retail CEO succession, omnichannel leadership, in addition to being a featured speaker at the National Retail Federation’s annual convention in New York City. Working with leading retailers at the senior most–levels to assemble winning leadership teams, Ms. Malloy primarily recruits board directors, CEOs, and their direct reports for publicly traded, privately held and private equity backed companies spanning vertical specialty, lifestyle and branded retail, off-price/value, grocery, hardlines, mass, and the specialty department store sectors.

Recent Search

In December, Herbert Mines recruited Doug Gillespie as the new CEO of Beauty by Imagination, Inc. (BBI), an ACON Investments backed haircare company. He succeeded CEO Francesca Raminella, who joined the company in 2018. “Doug brings a wealth of relevant experience and a track record of success in consumer-driven businesses to this role,” said Suma Kulkarni, a member of BBI’s board of directors and partner at ACON Investments. “We are excited to see him leverage his expertise in leading multi-brand portfolio companies to propel BBI’s next phase of growth and innovation.”

Beauty by Imagination is a manufacturer of haircare products, hair tools, and accessories. Based in New York, the BBI portfolio encompasses some of the industry’s most recognizable brands and products, including Goody, Wet Brush, Bio Ionic, Ouidad, TWIST, CURLS, and Ace.

Related: Herbert Mines Recruits Chief Merchant Officer for Merrell

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Executive Editor; Lily Fauver, Senior Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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